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FX, Fox put legal skeins on dockets

Baldikoski, Behar to pen Kelley project

FX is lining up another femme-driven drama — this one from Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glen Kessler — while Fox has handed down a put pilot verdict to a half-hour legal laffer from David E. Kelley and scribes Steve Baldikoski and Bryan Behar.

Twentieth Century Fox is behind the untitled single-camera Kelley project, tentatively called “We, the Jury.”

Baldikoski and Behar (“Old Christine”) co-created the project, which revolves around jurors involved in a high-profile trial and sequestered in a motel. Untitled project was sold to Fox based on the pitch.

Kelley is set to oversee Baldikoski and Behar on the project, as well as its writing team. Kelley will exec produce the comedy along with Marty Adelstein.

Besides their recent stint as co-exec producers on “Old Christine,” Baldikoski’s and Behar’s credits include “8 Simple Rules,” “I’m With Her” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe.”

Kelley’s “Boston Legal” is entering its third season this year. The multiple Emmy-winning exec producer is also behind the put pilot “Life on Mars” at ABC; that project, a remake of the BBC drama, revolves around a detective who tries to solve his girlfriend’s kidnapping after having been mysteriously sent back to the 1970s.

Meanwhile, after ordering up the Courteney Cox tabloid hour “Dirt,” FX is giving its first pilot greenlight of the season to a project about a tough female attorney from “The Sopranos” scribe Todd A. Kessler, Zelman and Glen Kessler.

Untitled drama is a character-driven legal thriller — and the net’s second starring a woman. In “Dirt,” which received a 13-episode pickup from FX this summer, Cox plays a ruthless editor-in-chief for a pair of popular celebrity tabloids.

FX exec veep Nick Grad said the decision to produce a pilot for the script was a relatively quick one for the net, citing a turnaround time of about two months.

“The lead is just a phenomenal character, really gripping,” he said. The net’s been trying to crack the legal genre, he added, and “these guys found a way to do it with an FX twist.” FX has previously found success with unconventional stabs at the police (“The Shield”) and medical (“Nip/Tuck”) genres.

Production is expected to begin later this year.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Todd Kessler said the project “takes the whole legal genre and turns it on its head.” Casting is under way.

Elsewhere at FX, cabler has yet to decide on renewals for sophomore skeins “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “30 Days.”

Todd Kessler’s TV credits include “Providence” and the CBS drama “Robbery Homicide Division.” His brother Glen also worked on the latter series.

Zelman wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Warner Bros. feature “Fool’s Gold,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.